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Moviegoers and directors mingled on the red carpet Saturday with Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor and a host of other volunteers dressed as movies stars before an awards ceremony for the seventh annual Beaufort International Film Festival.
Ron Tucker, one of the festivals organizers and its public relations director, said this year's collection of documentaries, short films, animations and features brought the widest array of emotions to the audiences of any other year. This year also saw more film entries and visitors, Tucker said, with an average of 170 people viewing each film.
One of the main attractions this year was the appearance of director Mike Tollin, football coach Harold Jones and James Robert "Radio" Kennedy. Tollin made the 2002 movie "Radio" based on the relationship between Jones and Kennedy, and the crew celebrated its 10th anniversary at the festival with a special screening and a Q&A with the coach and Radio. Tollin received this year's Jean Ribaut Award for Excellence Filmmaking.
The awards ceremony, as well as the movie screenings, were held on Carteret Street at the University of South Carolina Beaufort's Center for the Arts.
Director Chris Brinker, who created "Boondock Saints" and co-produced "Lonely Street," was posthumously awarded the Robert Smalls Individual Award. Brinker was slated to attend the festival, but died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm Feb. 8. He was 42.
Best screenwriting: "Bad Advice From Good People"
Writer Gary Weeks of Atlanta.
The movie revolves around a loving husband whose directed to "sign divorce papers" on his wife's honey-do list. His friends kidnap him and force-feed him horrible relationship advice in the hope of retraining his manhood before he confronts her.
Best student film: "Shoot the Moon"
Director Alexander Gaeta of the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, Cal.
Main character Marcy Meyers is down on her luck. With bills piling up, the remnants of a failed marriage, and an imminent home foreclosure, she places all her hope in a national game show that promises a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win it all.
Best short film: "Wallenda"
Director V.W. Scheich of Playa Del Rey, Cal.
Wallenda is a 20-minute short film about the unlikely beginning of Karl Wallenda's high wire career. Wallenda's story is set in 1920s Germany as the young man answers an advertisement for a handstand artist. Historically, Wallenda captured the approval of a demanding audience by his daring and courage on the high wire. He later went on to establish the Flying Wallendas, an internationally famous circus act known for performing death defying feats on the high wire, such as the sensational seven-person pyramid.
Best documentary: "Besa: The Promise"
Director Rachel Goslins of Takoma Park, Md.
The film is the never-before-told story of the Muslims of Nazi-occupied Albania who saved the lives of thousands of Jews during World War II. The story is told through the modern-day prism of two men joined together in a remarkable and unexpected quest: Norman H. Gershman, a renowned American photographer determined to record the bravery and compassion of the Albanians, and Rexhep Hoxha, an Albanian toy shop owner. The two set out to return three precious books to the last surviving member of the Jewish family Hoxha's Muslim father sheltered sixty years before. When the two men meet, an extraordinary and unexpected personal drama begins to bridge generations and religions, and unite fathers and sons, Muslims and Jews.
Best Actor: Mike Wiley of "Wolf Call"
In 1956, 14-year old Emmett Till of Chicago went missing in Money, Miss. The boy's mutilated body was later found in a river. William Bradford Huie of Look magazine sat down with the two men acquitted of the boy's murder, Roy Bryant Jr. and J.W. Milam, to discuss the trial and to speak with them for the first time on-record since the incident. Mike Wiley played all three characters.
Best Director: Rachel Goslins for "Besa: The Promise."
Best Animation: Fish and Chicks
Director Daniel Berkowitz of Winston-Salem, N.C.
The 4-minute film shows two fish battling for the affection of a new roommate in the tank -- a mermaid aquarium decoration.
Audience Choice Award: "Granny's Got Game"
Director Angela Alford of Raleigh, N.C.
The documentary feature film is about a senior women's basketball team in North Carolina. These six fiercely competitive women in their seventies battle physical limitations and skepticism to keep doing what they love. The film follows them for a year as they compete for another National Senior Games championship. After two decades together, these women are more than a team -- they are a family.
As Alford accepted her award, she said the film is "dedicated to everyone who proves you're never too old to do what you love."
Follow reporter Anne Christnovich twitter.com/IPBG_Anne.